Tech City gets 'double 4G' as most of UK struggles with 3G

As most of the country struggles along with 3G in the mobile space, London's Tech City in east London is to get "double 4G".

Tech City is partnering with sole UK 4G operator EE to provide start-ups and other firms in Tech City to provide double 4G WiFi points dotted around the area.

Workers carrying smartphones and other gadgets will be able to access mobile connectivity speeds of "up to 80mbps" and average speeds of "24 to 30mbps", for free, said the partners. Any WiFi device will be able to connect to the service.

EE customers in the capital can currently get 4G speeds of almost 20Mbps on average, according to Rootmetrics, which independently tests EE's network and other networks around the country.

EE runs the Orange and T-Mobile brands. Vodafone, O2 and Three have so far not announced the exact dates of when their customers will be able to upgrade from their existing creaking 3G networks.

Joanna Shields, CEO of Tech City and UK business ambassador for digital industries, said, “Double speed 4G will turn Europe’s digital capital into the world’s most connected tech hub.

"The lightning speed and capacity of the superfast 4G network provides businesses with unique opportunities to build, test, and develop the digital products and services of the future."

Tech City accredited businesses will also have access to the EE network’s real-time APIs (application programming interfaces). "This will provide mobile developers with a significant time-to-market advantage in developing applications and services that can take full advantage of high-speed 4G networks," the partners said.

Tech City and EE are also "investigating" rolling out similar programmes in Bath, Belfast, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Newry, Sheffield and Sunderland.

The EE 4G network is currently available in 74 towns and cities across the UK, with EE claiming it is available to over 50 percent of the population.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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